This week, the Royal Mint announced the introduction of a new pound coin for 2017. The 12 sided coin – that’s right, 12! – is said to be the most secure coin in the world, aiding the mint in combating the high number of fakes in circulation, said to currently be around one in three.
For some, the new pound coin sparked outrage and bewilderment and fears for retailers, but with it’s introduction set to take all existing pound coins out of circulation by autumn 2017, businesses will have no choice but to take action.
So, what do businesses need to do?
In a statement, the treasury provided the following steps all cash handling businesses must carry out by March 2017
- Check whether they operate equipment that handles the £1 coin
- Contact their equipment supplier to find out if they need to make any adaptations or upgrades
- Make the necessary changes to their coin handling equipment
- Train their staff on the features of the new £1 coin
- Make arrangements with their bank or cash in transit provider to return the current £1 coin and new £1 coin in separate packaging
The new point coin website also sets out the following key dates for business to note to ensure a smooth transition:
Introduction of the new pound coin: October 2016 – March 2017
Businesses are asked to prepare for the launch of the new coin between now and March 2017. There is no specific date for launch, but it is expected to be at some point early next year. To prepare you should:
- Check whether you operate equipment that handles the new pound coin.
- Contact your equipment supplier to find out if you need adaptations or replacements and by when.
- Make the changes to your coin handling equipment.
- Train your staff on the features of the new pound coin.
- Consider any changes to your cash handling processes e.g. counting, storing and banking during the co-circulation period.
Co-circulation period: March 2017 – September 2017
This is the period when the new pound coin and the old £1 coin are in circulation at the same time. During this time:
- You can accept both coins from your customers.
- Your equipment may be able to accept or dispense both £1 coins or just one. Please check with your equipment suppliers.
- You will need to tell your customers which coins your equipment can accept.
- You should agree with your bank or cash in transit (CIT) provider how to return the current £1 coin and new pound coin.
Demonetisation: From Autumn 2017
From Autumn 2017, the current £1 coin will no longer be legal tender. By this time:
- All your coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new pound coin.
- You should not accept the round £1 coin from your customers and you should not distribute the round £1 coin.
- The round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account at most high street banks and the Post Office*
*check with your bank for more details, including deposit limits.
So, If you’re a cash handling business, make sure you consider these changes and the new pound coin when planning for the new year, or you might be in for a shock come next autumn!